Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
The Edgerton council discussed what’s necessary to continue the 8th street sidewalk project, considered new staff positions, approved service contracts and a new facility at LPKC.
Eminent Domain for easements
Staff has not been able to reach agreements for easements on eight properties along the route of the 8th Street sidewalk construction project.
It appears these property owners do not plan to sign any documents, and staff advised council that if the project is to continue, the city must begin the condemnation process.
“I think it’s a real shame that we’re at this point and that not all citizens see the benefit to this, but it is about the greater good of the community,” said Don Roberts, mayor.
Each council member in attendance made comments in support of moving the project forward.
Ordinance No. 1041 declares a public necessity to acquire by the property needed for easements by eminent domain proceedings.
The ordinance was passed with a 4-0 vote. Jody Brown was absent.
400,000 square foot warehouse
Council considered an application for bonds and property tax abatement to construct a 400,000 square foot warehouse and distribution facility at 30700 W. 193rd.
Scott Anderson, bond counsel, presented a summary and public hearing was conducted.
Jeff White of Columbia Capitol reviewed the cost-benefit analysis for this project.
According to White, the 25 acre property generates about $1,250 in property tax with no development. With this development, it will generate $84,000.
White also reviewed figures of all LPKC projects as a combined whole (not including the new one discussed).
“When we look at the total projects that council has approved for abatement in LPKC to this point, what we can see is that we’ve gone from about $27,000 a year in taxes […] and we’ve added about $1.85 million dollars in new PILOTS,” White said. A PILOT is payments in lieu of taxes.
Council approved Resolution No. 12-08-16C, which assigns $35,325,000 to the construction project, with a 4-0 vote.
Marketing services contract
Council considered a contract with Candid Marketing for marketing and communications services for 2017.
Candid has been working with the city since 2012.
A new website in 2017 is one of many services to be provided.
The annual contract for $39,600 is the same as was paid in 2016.
Council approved by a 4-0 vote.
Contract with GE  Chamber of Commerce
Council approved a contract with Gardner-Edgerton Chamber of Commerce for 2017.
Jason Camis, chamber president, spoke to council and said the chamber looked forward to partnering with the city.
The city will spend $5000 with the chamber – $2000 is membership, the rest for inclusion in publications the chamber distributes.
New city staff positions
New staff positions were authorized by council earlier this year. At the meeting, the council was asked to consider hiring an assistant city administrator rather than filling the previously approved CIP project manager position.
Council discussed and approved with a 4-0 vote.
Council also reviewed and approved the job description for the position of finance director.
Other council action
Council approved participation in the Countywide Mass Notification System (Notify JoCo).  Previously, the city considered participation too costly, however the county has restructured the cost-share model for 2017, prompting new consideration.
Council approved renewal of a facility use and maintenance agreement with Edgerton Historical Society for the Edgerton Community Museum.
Council scheduled a special meeting at 6 p.m. on Dec. 15 and cancelled the previously scheduled Dec. 22 meeting.